25 August 2008

The Fundamentalists "respond" to Duncan's e-mail

This morning a note from a reader pointed me to the “response” to +Duncan’s top-secret e-mail that the bishop has now allowed to be published.

The email led me to believe that the response was from reasonable people. I was wrong. The letter really is more of a defense of the fundamentalist ideology.

One bit that really made me shake my head in disgust is this:

1. The first difficulty is the moral equivalence implied between the three moratoria, a notion specifically rejected in the original Windsor Report and at Dromantine.

Actually, it is largely American and Canadian liberals that have implied a moral equivalency between the two. We think most people are clear that the crisis in our Communion was precipitated by specific American and Canadian actions. In any event, someone has to be the first to give up their “rights” (either Bishop Duncan and the GAFCON folks by agreeing to moratorium #3 in clear terms, or the American and Canadian leadership by agreeing to moratoria #1 and #2, as well as an immediate cessation of the lawsuits and ecclesiastical trials). Who will be the first to display an act of Christian charity and self-giving on behalf of the Communion at this critical turning point in the life of the Communion? [Emphasis added.]

Well, everyone knows that the fundamentalists are never going to budge, so by implication, the signers of the response are really calling upon the North American churches to “do the right thing.” They still want the North American churches to throw a large number of their membership to the lions and allow the theft of church property as “an act of Christian charity and self-giving.” It is so easy to be charitable when it is other people’s lives one is negating.

Now, here is a second bit of “logic”:

2. This process cannot be stopped — constitutions require an automatic second vote, and to recommend against passage without guarantees from the other side would be suicidal.

[…] We suggest this is such a crucial issue that Dr. Williams convene a meeting, preferably in person, by September 30th, to work through an agreement on the assurances of the moratoria as well as the “safe haven” for those in the American and Canadian churches who feel the need for protection. We respectfully submit that this meeting be chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury and include the bishops of Ft. Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, the primate of Uganda, the primate of the Southern Cone, the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the chair of the Windsor Continuation Group, and perhaps two bishops agreed to by all other parties. This meeting should be held at a neutral site without attorneys present. Such a meeting would acknowledge the urgency of the matters under consideration and give an opportunity to the parties to work through the implementation of the moratoria requested. [Emphasis added.]

Now take notice of the people who should be at the meeting: six to two in favour of booting the North American churches out of the communion. Well, actually, we must include +Williams in the first category as he is supportive of the fundamentalists, so it is seven to two against the North American Churches. Given the personal character of Duncan, Akinola and Venables, I can really see honest, open discussion taking place.

What all of these fundamentalists deliberately ignore is that TEC has abided by the Windsor requests. We have not elected nor consecrated a single honest gay/lesbian, nor have we not approved liturgies for blessing same-gender marriages. They chose to ignore this fact because they can justify their plundering.

Not only have we done what was requested of us, we have bent over backwards to accommodate the fundamentalists. And we continue to do so. There is strong evidence that nothing will be done about the Duncan situation at the September meeting of the bishops. According to The Living Church, Neva Rae Fox, programme officer for public affairs of TEC said,

[It is my] understanding was that there would be time set aside for an updated presentation on the activities of some members of the House of Bishops, but [I am] not aware of any plans for disciplinary action during the fall meeting."

Now, keep in mind we have no real knowledge of what the bishop might do. However, the programme officer’s statement is pretty clear – nothing will be done to stop Duncan. Ah, yes, TEC certainly likes to persecute those poor fundamentalist bishops who want to leave the apostate sect and steal the property on the way out the door to bigotland.

Then we come to the most revealing part of the response

We believe some pressure has to be brought to bear on the American Church at such a meeting to stop the legal proceedings. The reason for withdrawing the lawsuits is for the sake of fostering relationships which are of utmost importance in Anglicanism. The rationale is “I give up my ‘right’ to sue this church/diocese for the sake of the possibility of reconciliation. I acknowledge the ‘safe haven’ as a place of integrity within the Communion until we can work out our differences, regardless of however long it might take.”

There you have it, friends: let us steal your house for the good of the whole Anglican community. Why not, “We’ll give up the property we have or are attempting to steal, for the good of the whole Anglican community.” The answer to this is because it is all about money and the control of money (which means power), not about theology. Who was it that said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think the fundamentalists are absolutely corrupt and their actions exemplify that.

The “response” is signed by”

The Rev’d Canon Neal Michell, Diocese of Dallas
The Rev’d George Willcox Brown III, Diocese of Dallas
The Rev’d Anthony F. M. Clavier, Diocese of Northern Indiana
The Rev’d Daniel K. Dunlap, Diocese of Texas
The Rev’d Joseph B. Howard, Diocese of Tennessee
The Rev’d Nathan J.A. Humphrey, Diocese of Washington
The Rev’d Dr. Richard Kew, Diocese of Tennessee
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Graham Kings, Vicar, St. Mary’s Islington (CoE)
The Rev’d Daniel H. Martins, Diocese of Northern Indiana
The Very Rev’d Dr. Jean McCurdy Meade, Diocese of Louisiana
The Rev’d Matthew S. C. Olver, Diocese of Dallas
The Rev’d Dr. Ephraim Radner, Diocese of Colorado
The Rev’d Bruce M. Robison, Diocese of Pittsburgh
Mr. Dale A. Rye, Diocese of Texas
Mr. Dave Sims , Diocese of Dallas
Mr. Craig Uffman, Diocese of Northern Indiana
Mr. Christopher Wells, Diocese of Northern Indiana

If you would like to read the whole “response,” you will have to Google “A Word in Time: An Open Letter to the Anglican Communion.” I won’t link to a hate site.

Now, take a moment and go read Mark's post Tommyrot over at Preludium. You'll find a great expose of intentional misinformation.

Smart readers noticed that the name in red, above, wrote the sermon posted on Pentecost XIV.